The Baltimore Ravens weren't flagged for a single penalty in their 20-13 divisional playoff victory over the Houston Texans. It wasn't for lack of trying.
Wide receiver Anquan Boldin spent much of the fourth quarter tussling with Texans cornerback Jason Allen, particularly on the play below, in which Allen holds Boldin, Boldin holds him back and the two fall to the turf still engaged. This specific play concluded with Boldin giving Allen a little of the ol' Ndamukong.
Dan Dierdorf expressed surprise that the officials didn't throw a flag on either the holds or the end game, but I'm pleased they didn't. The play was dirty, a little ugly and wouldn't be tolerated on a game-to-game basis in the regular season.
This is the playoffs, though. The normal rules don't apply. Don't decide the game with whistles, let players decide the game themselves. And if that involves a little extracurriculars after the play is over, so be it.
Baltimore will play the New England Patriots next Sunday in the AFC championship game.
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